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NEWS RELEASE

RELEASE:     IMMEDIATELY

                                CONTACT:    WAYNE SWINGLE- 813.348.1630

 

LISTENING STATION AVAILABLE AT THE GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL FOR THE SOUTH ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL’S KING AND SPANISH MACKEREL ADVISORY PANEL CONFERENCE CALL

 

Tampa, Florida – October 19, 2005 - The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GMFMC) has made available a listening station for individuals interested in participating in the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s (SAFMC) King and Spanish Mackerel Advisory Panel (AP) conference call scheduled for Thursday, November 3, 2005 at 1:00 p.m.  The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council offices are located at 2203 N. Lois Avenue, Suite 110, Tampa, FL  33607. 

 

The AP will review Amendment 17 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources (Mackerel) Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic, and the coastal migratory pelagic component of Generic Amendment 3 for Addressing Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Requirements, Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC), and Adverse Effects of Fishing in the Following Fishery Management Plans of the Gulf of Mexico - Shrimp, Red Drum, Reef Fish, Stone Crab, Coral and Coral Reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, and Spiny Lobster and the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources of the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic.  Under the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources FMP, the SAFMC and GMFMC are jointly responsible for the management of coastal migratory pelagic species. The GMFMCs Generic Amendment 3 will amend the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources FMP.

 

Amendment 17 addresses the continuance of the charter/headboat permit moratorium for coastal migratory pelagic species currently in place in the Gulf of Mexico fishery.  On May 6, 2003, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approved Amendment 14 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics FMP, establishing the charter vessel/headboat permit moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic fishery.  Implemented on June 16, 2003, the intended effect of the amendment was to cap the number of for-hire vessels operating in the fishery at the levels that existed as of March 29, 2001 while the Councils evaluated whether a limited access program was needed to permanently constrain effort.  The moratorium is set to expire June 16, 2006.

 

In Amendment 17, the Councils are considering whether to let the moratorium expire, extend the moratorium for a finite time period (5 or 10 years), or establish an indefinite limited access program. The GMFMC has selected as its preferred alternative to establish an indefinite limited access program.  The SAFMC has not taken action.

 

Generic Amendment 3 contains proposed alternatives to define EFH for the Coastal Migratory Pelagic Resources Fishery Management Plan.

 

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will consider any recommendations developed by the King and Spanish Mackerel Advisory Panel and take final action on Amendment 17 and Generic Amendment 3 at its December 5-9, 2005 meeting in Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

 

Other listening stations include:  NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL  33701; NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, South Fisheries Science Center, 73 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, Fl  33149; and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 296 Overseas Highway, Suite 119, Marathon, FL  33050.

 

Although other non‑emergency issues not on the agenda may come before the AP for discussion, in accordance with the Magnuson‑Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (M-SFCMA), those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings.  Actions of the AP will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in the agenda and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under Section 305(c) of the M-SFCMA, provided the public has been notified of the Council's intent to take action to address the emergency.  The established times for addressing items on the agenda may be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the untimely completion of discussion relevant to other agenda items.  In order to further allow for such adjustments and completion of all items on the agenda, the meeting may be extended from or completed prior to the date established in this notice.